Changing the American Dream

Team Selfie

Changing the American Dream

“The only thing constant in life is change” – Heraclitus

When I graduated from high school many moons ago I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life.  I was the first in my family to go to college at the time so I had no point of reference or a role model to talk to.  I thought the best thing for me to do was get into “business”, whatever that meant.  And since I got into the University of California at Irvine, they did not have a business major so the next best thing was to apply for an Economics major.  I took a few Econ classes and really hated the subject.  I mean it didn’t make sense to me and I had no interest in continuing.  Luckily for me, this was the time when the proliferation of the Internet began and my interest ran high to find out more about computers.  I eventually changed major to Information and Computer Science and eventually graduated with a Bachelor of Science.

College Graduation

College Graduation Photo

Professional Life

Unlike some people, I put my degree to good use and worked in technology throughout my career.  I started as a system administrator at a small consulting shop.  I then got into web development and Java development briefly before I reached another fork in my career.  I had to choose to dive deeper in the technology front or change my direction and learn about the business side of things by becoming an analyst.  I chose the latter as I feel that offered me more growth opportunities, which it did as my career blossomed.  I was promoted to a Project Manager a few years later and have been doing that ever since.


Receiving my Volunteer of the Year award. October 24, 2007.

The American Dream

My salary also benefited from these series of transitions.  I was able to buy a new car, dine out at fancy restaurants, buy new toys, and eventually bought a house.  I was living the “American Dream”!  I had all that I needed and thought I was happy.   The funny thing was I wasn’t really all that happy.  I was stressed, overweight, and the pressure to keep on getting better and earn more money got to me.  What woke me up was the passing of my father which turned my world upside down.  I plunged into a depression.  My work suffered and my progress halted.  As I clawed my way out of my depression (with the help of my therapist), I reevaluated what was important to me and what I wanted my life to be about when I pass.  I wanted to be happy.  I was most happiest when I am spending time with friends and family as well as when I am touring on my bicycle.

My former 2013 Lexus CT200h car

My former 2013 Lexus CT200h car

I Choose Happiness

About 6 months ago, I decided that I wanted to pursue this passion of bicycle touring as a possible career change.  I took all the steps to prepare for it and even gave my resignation to my supervisor.  I decided that I’m going to need to jump right into this and try it out before I regret it.  I didn’t have the things that was holding me back like a family or insurmountable debt.  I even have some savings for a rainy day stashed aside for this occasion.

Touring Bike

Me & My Vaya

Good Bye Full Time Job

This brings us to today, April 17, 2014, my last day of work.  It’s been an emotional rollercoaster the last few weeks.  A feeling of bittersweet excitement.  In one hand I’m going to miss my co-workers and friends at work but on the other hand I need this chapter to end before I can start my next.  Life changes like this is never easy and one can never get use to it.  I can only look forward and hope for the best.  Trusting my intuition and my pursuit of happiness fuels my desire to stay on track and do what is needed for me to transition into this new life.  I hope you all can stay with me on this journey through my blog entries as I attempt to reinvent myself again.  I am going to need all the support and encouragement from every single one of you out there so I would like to thank you in advance.

Team Selfie

My Last Team Meeting – April 14, 2014

No Comments
  • Pingback:Morning Links: A long list of good and bad Good Friday bike news | BikinginLA
    Posted at 23:42h, 17 April

    […] rider Johnny Lam chucks it all for a new career in bicycle touring. Nice work if you can get […]

  • Daina Kalnins
    Posted at 07:46h, 19 April

    Congratulations Johnnie. … may you ENJOY your re-formatted life. All the best and let us know how we can support you.
    Daina at Build Your Tour

    • Johnny Lam
      Posted at 17:31h, 19 April

      Thank you Daina! I look forward to meeting you once again.

  • theresasatt
    Posted at 07:55h, 19 April

    Let the adventure begin Johnny!!!

  • Janet Berg
    Posted at 21:25h, 22 April

    Congrats Johnny for taking such a brave step in your life’s path. I look forward to watch the amazing places it will take you and how it may positively affect the people you meet to also dare to choose “happiness”.

    • Johnny Lam
      Posted at 10:07h, 24 April


      Thank you for your encouragement. I’ll definitely do my best to keep things interesting.


  • Pingback:A Year After I Left My Full-time Job - Milestone Rides
    Posted at 11:31h, 16 April

    […] is hard to believe that it has been a year since I left my full-time job at Sony Pictures Entertainment. It is actually even more surreal as I am writing this post a month ahead of that anniversary. But […]

  • Pingback:How I Make Money Bike Touring - Milestone Rides
    Posted at 12:31h, 04 November

    […] April 17, 2014, I announced that I was leaving my full-time career to pursue other bike touring related endeavors. Fast-forward […]